JCP proposal for ending crisis

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Mar 21 18:28:18 MST 2001

[From John Manning]

Fuwa calls to break through economic crisis with three-point policy change

TOKYO MAR 19 JPS -- Japanese Communist Party Central Committee Chair Fuwa
Tetsuzo on March 17 called for three changes in Japan's economic policy to
get the economy out of the critical situation.

In his first campaign tour for the House of Councilors election, Fuwa spoke
to an audience of about 8,000 in Amagasaki City. He criticized Prime
Minister Mori Yoshiro's doubletalk on his "resignation" and stressed the
need for "remaking Japan" with the advance of the JCP in the House of
Councilors election.

Describing the nation's economy as being in a disarray, Fuwa said the
government's economic policy must be changed from one of caring for general
contractor construction companies and major banks to one of supporting the
people's livelihood and increasing personal consumption.

Fuwa first spoke about the need for the government policy to turn to
directly increasing the people's purchasing power. He said that the economy
is going from bad to worse as the government neglects to take measures for
increasing personal consumption which accounts for 60 percent of the
national economy.

Referring to the increasing public acceptance of the call of the National
Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) for the consumption tax rate to be
reduced to 3 percent, Fuwa said this tax rate cut should be immediately
achieved. He went on to say that the present progress in economic recession
allows no room for delay in the phased approach of a consumption tax rate
cut and abolition of this tax in order to directly increase the people's
purchasing power.

Secondly, Fuwa called for a "freeze" on the government plans to adversely
revise the social services. A reliable and sustainable system of social
services should be worked out during a period of "freeze."

He said it is necessary to "freeze" the government's plan to force the
people to pay 3 trillion yen (25 billion dollars) more this year for the
adversely revised social services, and to work out a system for the future.

Thirdly, Fuwa said two approaches are necessary to improve the employment

One is to give national budgetary support to small-and medium-sized
enterprises which employ 80 percent of the working people in Japan. The
ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the Komei Party talk a lot about the
need for a budget to help small- and medium-sized enterprises, but in the
FY 2001 national budget, the general account includes only 0.4 percent
(194.8 billion yen).

The other is to regulate corporate restructuring. Fuwa said that a
corporation can profit from exercising restructuring through worker
dismissals, but aggregated it will result in creating a vicious circle for
the economy as a whole, by way of depressing consumption. Fuwa said the
government is irresponsible to have encouraged corporate restructuring
through taxation and financial benefits.

Fuwa proposed an all-industry major drive to be carried out on the
government's initiative, under which economic organizations and all
corporations are asked to map out business programs in which they operate
business without unpaid overtime, and employ more workers to meet this
requirement. Fuwa said it is desirable for the movement to develop into
abolishing overtime work.

Fuwa said the major change in the economic policy is a pressing need.

Louis Proyect
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